Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book note: Finding Fibonacci

Reading a review copy of this currently: Finding Fibonacci: The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World. It's by Keith Devlin, whose math thinking MOOC I took and wrote about here and here. I may have more to say about the book when I finish it, but I'm already intrigued by its interdisciplinary nature (a "deft, engaging mix of history, math and travelogue," per Publishers Weekly) and that it discusses how important people are sometimes forgotten--and sometimes rediscovered--by history, with Leonardo Pisano (aka Fibonacci) having disappeared from the world's awareness for centuries, and with his true significance only emerging in recent years. The tendency of historical reputations to rise and fall (even when they don't disappear altogether) is a theme I've found in my own research on DeWitt Clinton, and I suspect it holds true in many cases.